In The Spotlight: Teresa Ferreira – Shaping Brands for Positive Change

In The Spotlight: Teresa Ferreira
In this series, we interview freelancers and professionals who have dedicated their careers to make a positive impact. This week, we are talking to Teresa Ferreira, a London-based Brand Consultant and Creative Director for purpose-led businesses.

Table of Contents

From being a Head of Design at Financial Times’ brand team to running her own branding and design studio, Teresa’s journey can hardly be described as a linear one. But it’s filled with bold leaps, creative pursuits, and a passion for meaningful and impactful work.

In this interview, she talks about her transition from corporate to freelancing world, insights into combining sustainability and branding, and how she became a public speaker and the impact she wants to make through her work.

Photo courtesy of Teresa Ferreira

Q: Can you tell us about how you went from working at the Financial Times to starting your own studio that focuses on working with brands in sustainability and positive impact space? What advice would you give to others thinking about doing something similar?

It all started just after the pandemic. I picked up a branding and creative direction project for a sustainable fashion brand, whilst still working at the Financial Times. Doing this made me realise that I could start a side hustle founding my creative studio, as I wanted to solely focus on working with businesses creating a positive impact.

So I compressed my week into 4 days and started dedicating a day plus weekends and evenings to my studio work. A few months in, I totally burned out and felt safe enough on the work stream to quit the full time job at the Financial Times.

The advice I would give would be to firstly never stop exploring and doing things that bring you joy. You can start small and then see how you get on. And also, try and not burn out, it’s not fun.

Q: As a Brand Consultant and Creative Director, you emphasise the importance of conscious practices in business. Could you share a specific project where you’ve effectively integrated sustainability principles into your branding work?

In my work with clients, I prioritise conscious branding practices, selecting businesses that share my values and mission.

A particularly rewarding project was for NAS Charity. Our aim was to leverage creativity for enhancing mental health in various communities through workshops and events.

This branding project was not only enjoyable but also meaningful. Every creative decision was made with an eye towards sustainability—reducing waste, repurposing designs, and using recyclable and compostable materials, among other environmentally conscious practices.

Q: What advice would you give to freelancers looking to create a brand identity that reflects their values?

I would say that it all starts with the mission.

Are you aligned with your client’s values? Are they really creating a positive impact or do they exist just for the sake of profiting from consumers?

From then onwards the creative process should always start with strategy. With the insights from that you can follow on to the creation of the brand.

Whatever choices you’re making, you need to be informed of the most climate positive, energy efficient and sustainable platforms/materials to use to implement your designs. It’s our job as creatives to guide and inspire people to take action and make these good choices.

Q: What resources do you recommend for staying up-to-date with the latest trends and developments in branding and sustainability?

There are so many resources out there. The main thing is to keep being curious. Never feel that you’ve ‘made it’ so you don’t need to learn anymore.

Some good books on what I like doing are “Design for the Real World” by Victor Papadek and “Why brands with a purpose do better and matter more” by David Hieatt.

There are some great substack newsletters to keep you informed as well like My Climate Journey. 

Q: You are also a public speaker. Can you share how you started that journey, and what has been the most rewarding aspect of it so far?

My journey began organically whilst I was still at the Financial Times, where mentoring led to speaking engagements. Then upon launching my studio, it led to conducting workshops and sharing insights on creative confidence, imposter syndrome, and community building, among other subjects.

Surprisingly, despite my initial dread of public speaking, I’ve grown to enjoy it more with each opportunity. This shift in perspective is driven by my opposition to gatekeeping within the creative community and my desire to support others in any way possible.

Q: As you look towards the future, what are your hopes and aspirations for your studio? What kind of impact do you envision your studio making?

I would love to continue developing brands within the positive impact sector and to attract larger clients seeking help in making transformative changes to their business and branding strategies.

Businesses are capable of driving significant change, and by adopting a purpose-led approach, they can create meaningful impact. With each small action contributing to a broader movement, the cumulative effect can generate a substantial wave of change.

To learn more about the amazing work Teresa does, check out her website and connect with her on LinkedIn and Instagram.

Share This Post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More Articles